Seizures of illegally obtained gold increase by 47% to 3,502 kg in 2022.

Seizures of illegally obtained gold increase by 47% to 3,502 kg in 2022.

According to official statistics, the amount of smuggled gold seized jumped by about 47% year over year in 2022, with Kerala having the highest percentage of the yellow metal seized.

Government agencies seized 2,383.38 kg of gold in 2021 and 2,154.58 kg in the year before.

As much as 916.37 kilogrammes of illegal gold was discovered in the first two months of 2023.

According to the finance ministry's response to the Rajya Sabha, Customs field formations and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) maintain constant vigilance and take operational measures to prevent the smuggling of gold, including passenger profiling, risk-based interdiction and targeting of cargo consignments, non-intrusive inspection, searching of aircraft, and coordination with other agencies.

Modus operandi circulars pertaining to fresh modes/methods used by the gold smugglers are sometimes released, it was said.

According to statistics provided by the finance ministry, there were 3,982 incidents of gold seizures in 2022 as opposed to 2,445 in 2021.

The amount of gold seized in Kerala increased to 755.81 kg in 2022 from 586.95 kg the year before. 1,035 incidents of gold seizure were reported in 2022.

Kerala was the state with the most gold taken, followed by Maharashtra (535.65 kg) and Tamil Nadu (519 kg).

In 2022, there were 556.69 kg of seizures made in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Leh, and Ladakh.

Three incidents of gold smuggling have been investigated and charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) during the last three years.

After China, India is the country that consumes the most gold.

According to a DRI study for 2021–22, India's massive gold demand and import taxes on legal imports of the metal both contribute to the country's high rate of gold smuggling.

Gold is subject to a base customs duty rate of 12.5%. The total tax rate is 18.45% after subtracting the Agricultural Infrastructural Development Cess (AIDC) of 2.5% and the IGST rate of 3% that applies to imports of gold.

Due to India's small gold production, the nation's high demand for the metal is satisfied by imports. India imports refined gold as well as gold dore bars.

According to the DRI research, imports of gold dore bars accounted for 30% of all official imports of the yellow metal into India during the previous five years.